Imacon 949 vs Epson V700 large format scans

Ever since I started shooting large format, I wanted to see the difference a better scanner than mine could provide. I use the Epson V700 for scanning my 4×5 film and I have printed 11×18 inches prints (thats 30×45 cm) with fantastic results. But since I often print at larger sizes, I decided to send a couple of 4×5 frames in a lab to be scanned with an Imacon 949 scanner. A drum scanner should of course yield better results, but I am still searching for an affordable drum scan service.

So, here is a first side by side comparison of the two scans.

(Epson V700 scan)

(Imacon 949 scan)

Here is a 100% crop of both scanners.

(Epson V700 scan)

4x5_scan_IMACON949 crop
(Imacon 949 scan)

There are differences in color rendering (the Imacon scan is closer to the slide), and one reason of course is that the person who uses the Imacon has far more experience than me. Also, the Imacon is of course a better scanner than Epson. By sharpening the Epson scan you can get pretty close to the Imacon but as it is obvious, there are artifacts and the Imacon would easily yield a much better 40 inches wide print. So, for serious prints, I will rely on the lab and I will sure try to have a drum scan of this image sometime in the near future to further evaluate the differences.

I also had some 6×17 slide film frames scanned with the Imacon. Here, the differences were much more subtle since I scan the 6×17 film with my Nikon Coolscan 9000. The Imacon scans were better by only by a slight margin. Still, its a pain to scan 6×17 with the Coolscan since it requires stitching two different scans with all the problems that can create (uneven exposure and color, alignment problems). So, as with 4×5, for serious large prints with 6×17 film, I am probably going with the lab option.

(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to Imacon 949 vs Epson V700 large format scans

  1. Brian says:

    Thank you for sharing this insight in your scanning results. I’m curious about exactly the same thing as my local lab has an Imacon 949 scanner and I’m wondering how it will compare against my own Epson V700 – and I also have a Nikon Coolscan 900 (though I haven’t used it yet!!!). I just started shooting 4×5 but have plenty of 120 film negatives and slides – including some Velvia 50 6×17 film shot on the Fuji G617. I was reading that drum scans perform much better – especially for slide film – so I will be looking for some options once I get some great shots made.

  2. Luc says:

    Sincerely your Imacon 949 is not well focused, because in fact is far much better than the Epson, in term of resolution it can be as good as a drum scanner (if not in term of dynamic).
    Tim Parkin offers a cheap drum scanning service (Heidelberg Tango).

    • kbesios says:

      Thank you for your observation. I don’t own the Imacon, these are scans I had sent to a scanning service (I don’t really remember where since its been some time now). I’ve heard about Tim Parkin, and I will send some negatives in the future (unfortunately, it’s been a long time since I shot film, I hope I will use again my film cameras soon).

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